In addition to addressing the general questions regarding science and induction, many philosophers of science are occupied by investigating philosophical or foundational problems in particular sciences. The late 20th and early 21st century has seen a rise in the number of practitioners of philosophy of a particular science.
1. Philosophy of physics.
Philosophy of physics is the study of the fundamental, philosophical questions underlying modern physics, the study of matter and energy and how they interact. The main questions concern the nature of space and time, atoms and atomism. Also the predictions of cosmology, the results of the interpretation of quantum mechanics, the foundations of statistical mechanics, causality, determinism, and the nature of physical laws. Classically, several of these questions were studied as part of metaphysics (for example, those about causality, determinism, and space and time).
2. Philosophy of biology.
Philosophy of biology deals with epistemological, metaphysical, and ethical issues in the biological and biomedical sciences. Although philosophers of science and philosophers generally have long been interested in biology (e.g., Aristotle, Descartes, and even Kant), philosophy of biology only emerged as an independent field of philosophy in the 1960s and 1970s. Philosophers of science then began paying increasing attention to developments in biology, from the rise of Neodarwinism in the 1930s and 1940s to the discovery of the structure of Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in 1953 to more recent advances in genetic engineering. Other key ideas such as the reduction of all life processes to biochemical reactions as well as the incorporation of psychology into a broader neuroscience are also addressed.
3. Philosophy of mathematics.
Philosophy of mathematics is the branch of philosophy that studies the philosophical assumptions, foundations, and implications of mathematics.
• What are the sources of mathematical subject matter?
• What is the ontological status of mathematical entities?
• What does it mean to refer to a mathematical object?
• What is the character of a mathematical proposition?
• What is the relation between logic and mathematics?
• What is the role of hermeneutics in mathematics?
• What kinds of inquiry play a role in mathematics?
• What are the objectives of mathematical inquiry?
• What gives mathematics its hold on experience?
• What are the human traits behind mathematics?
• What is mathematical beauty?
• What is the source and nature of mathematical truth?
• What is the relationship between the abstract world of mathematics and the material universe?
• What is a number?
• Are mathematical proofs exercises in tautology?
• Why does it make sense to ask whether 1+1=2 is true?
• How do we know whether a mathematical proof is correct?
Philosophy of chemistry
Philosophy of chemistry considers the methodology and underlying assumptions of the science of chemistry. It is explored by philosophers, chemists, and philosopher-chemist teams.
The philosophy of science has centered on physics for the last several centuries, and during the last century in particular, it has become increasingly concerned with the ultimate constituents of existence, or what one might call reductionism. Thus, for example, considerable attention has been devoted to the philosophical implications of special relativity, general relativity, and quantum mechanics. In recent years, however, more attention has been given to both the philosophy of biology and chemistry, which both deal with more intermediate states of existence.
In the philosophy of chemistry, for example, we might ask, given quantum reality at the microcosmic level, and given the enormous distances between electrons and the atomic nucleus, how is it that we are unable to put our hands through walls, as physics might predict? Chemistry provides the answer, and so we then ask what it is that distinguishes chemistry from physics?
In the philosophy of biology, which is closely related to chemistry, we inquire about what distinguishes a living thing from a non-living thing at the most elementary level. Can a living thing be understood in purely mechanistic terms, or is there, as vitalism asserts, always something beyond mere quantum states?
Issues in philosophy of chemistry may not be as deeply conceptually perplexing as the quantum mechanical measurement problem in the philosophy of physics, and may not be as conceptually complex as optimality arguments in evolutionary biology. However interest in the philosophy of chemistry in part stems from the ability of chemistry to connect the “hard sciences” such as physics with the “soft sciences” such as biology, which gives it a rather distinctive role as the central science.
Philosophy of economics
Philosophy of economics is the branch of philosophy which studies philosophical issues relating to economics. It can also be defined as the branch of economics which studies its own foundations and morality.
Philosophy of psychology
Philosophy of psychology refers to issues at the theoretical foundations of modern psychology. Some of these issues are epistemological concerns about the methodology of psychological investigation. For example:
• What is the most appropriate methodology for psychology: mentalism, behaviorism, or a compromise?
• Are self-reports a reliable data gathering method?
• What conclusions can be drawn from null hypothesis tests?
• Can first-person experiences (emotions, desires, beliefs, etc.) be measured objectively?
Other issues in philosophy of psychology are philosophical questions about the nature of mind, brain, and cognition, and are perhaps more commonly thought of as part of cognitive science, or philosophy of mind, such as:
• What is a cognitive module?
• Are humans rational creatures?
• What psychological phenomena comes up to the standard required for calling it knowledge?
• What is innateness?
Philosophy of psychology also closely monitors contemporary work conducted in cognitive neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, and artificial intelligence, questioning what they can and cannot explain in psychology.
Philosophy of psychology is a relatively young field, due to the fact that psychology only became a discipline of its own in the late 1800s. Philosophy of mind, by contrast, has been a well-established discipline since before psychology was a field of study at all. It is concerned with questions about the very nature of mind, the qualities of experience, and particular issues like the debate between dualism and monism.
Also, neurophilosophy has become its own field with the works of Paul and Patricia Churchland.
Recollido de http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_science.
Recollido de http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_science.